I was fortunate to receive guidance of seniors from my college – BITS Pilani, Goa and with their help, I could get decent CGPA of 9.51 and Rank 1 in the department. Many juniors started to bug me with the questions regarding how to go about it. While I really appreciate that they are proactive and curious, it was impossible to explain properly to every text, so I decided to write this article, which hopefully the readers will find useful. 🙂
Intended audience: This article is not only for BITS Pilani students, but any Engineering undergraduate student from Indian colleges will find it applicable/relatable.
Each person has a unique style of studying. Some are productive at night while some in the morning. Some like to engage in group study and some prefer to study all alone inside their private den. There is no magic potion to get good grades, but I believe, irrespective of the style of studying, there are some fundamental principles which should be followed to get good grades. These are independent of courses and applicable on a general level.
My course specific advice might be outdated, especially during the changed online classes pattern going on now because of the pandemic, so I have not included it here.
Now that I have defined the scope, I will get into the details.
- Always know the scope of the course
You should always be aware of exact syllabus (in detail) for any tests/quizzes/mid-semester or final semester examinations. You want to utilize the time efficiently. So, to avoid spending time on concepts that will not be tested, it is important to know the exact syllabus for each evaluation component.
A way to know this is to attend classes where you get to know (in detail) which topic/sub-topic is covered by the lecturer and take proper notes. Always feel free to ask the instructors in charge in case you are confounded. There can be other ways too, depending on your style of studying.
2. Always know the focus area of the course
Your course is vast and you need to prioritize the topics to study for the evaluation component. To prepare this priority list, you must know the focus areas in the course.
A way to know this is to listen to the test-maker – the lecturer of the course during the class and make a note of areas he is emphasizing on. Again, depending on your way of studying, there can be other ways too!
3. The trend
To have an idea of the type of questions that will most probably be tested in your evaluation component, you should know what was the trend till now in the exams set up by the given lecturer.
One of the most important way to know this is to look at the past 1/2/3 years papers set by the instructor or to simply ask the instructor about what type of questions he has in mind – MCQ, subjective, drawing waveforms/diagrams, experiment based, theoretical, calculation intensive, etc. Now that online exam pattern is entirely new and probably has no history to check, asking the instructor is the best way.
4. Grasp and practice
After you have done above 3 things, take action – grasp things and practice.
This will help you to know where you are weak. Make an error log. Is it a particular concept? You know stuff but you do calculation mistakes? You know everything, but time is short for you? Your anxiety is the main issue?
Best resources to practice would be questions that the test-maker aka your lecturer took in classes, previous year questions, etc. And if you are short of resources, don’t hesitate to ask your lecturer about more practice material, especially for new online pattern. If you have doubts, don’t hesitate to bug your friends, lecturer, and of course our beloved – the internet!
5. Be comfortable with the exam
Being tensed before/during the exam is very common and all people – even if they are pro go through this. So, be comfortable with the fact that you are a human, so you are tensed. This will help you to ‘make it happen’. For example, even if you are not getting first 5 questions but you know the 6th one, push yourself mentally to write the 6th one to utmost accuracy.
These are some pointers from me. There are many people who have better grades than me, and I do not consider myself the best expert out there to teach someone how to get good grades. I am always in a learning phase myself. But, I do believe in sharing knowledge, hence this small effort. 🙂
Also, the above pointers are more evaluation-component-oriented. By no means they ensure that you will become a course expert or you develop an interest in all the courses – in my honest opinion, one needs a lot more dedication, practice, etc. to be a course expert in the field of interest. But, given little time for many courses, these pointers will be helpful from exam point of view.
Thank you for reading. 🙂
Let’s spread the love,